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Analysis

Three-Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

Marlow begins to tell us the story of Jim, a young upstart sailor with tons of promise. But that promise soon fades when Jim commits the scandalous act of abandoning ship aboard the Patna and goes to trial for his wrongdoings.

Act II

After Jim's trial, he has a series of odd jobs until he finally settles down on the island of Patusan, where he becomes an influential member of the community. Marlow pays him a visit and catches up with his old pal.

Act III

After Marlow leaves Patusan, Jim's life sails along with ease until Gentleman Brown arrives on the island, and a battle for Patusan erupts. Misunderstandings and evil schemes contribute to Jim's friend Dain Waris's death, for which Jim takes responsibility. He willingly goes to his death at the hands of Dain's dad Doramin.

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